Entertainment

7 Movies That Represent Different Latino Immigration Experiences In The U.S.

Immigration is a common experience for many Latino families and no two immigration stories are the same. For decades, film has been one of the mediums that has allowed immigrants to tell their stories. Here are seven movies that tackle the issue of immigration from very different angles.

1. Under The Same Moon

Released in 2007, “Under The Same Moon (Bajo La Misma Luna)” stars Mexican actors Kate del Castillo and Eugenio Derbez. It follows a mother in the U.S. whose young son lives in Mexico with his grandmother. As del Castillo’s character works to save money so she can bring her son to the U.S., a family tragedy accelerates the child’s departure from Mexico. The movie shows what the young boy has to endure to make the journey from Mexico across the border to be reunited with his mother.

2. El Norte

This 1983 classic follows siblings Enrique and Rosa, who are forced to flee Guatemala when the violence from a decades-long civil war puts their lives at risk. Remembering their father’s declaration that the United States is a place where the poor “can make something of themselves,” the siblings begin a trek to the U.S. When the siblings leave Guatemala, they make their way to Mexico and seek out a coyote to help them cross the U.S.-Mexico border. They fail crossing the border several times, but once they make it to Los Angeles, they find out that not even El Norte will accept them. While Rosa and Enrique try to survive in the U.S. without the proper documentation, an illness tragically separates the siblings.

3. Sin Nombre

“Sin Nombre” is a 2009 Mexican thriller produced by Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna. It follows Sayra, a Honduran teenager migrating to the U.S. with her father and uncle, as well as Casper, a Mexican gang member. Casper, who robs migrants who ride trains headed for the U.S., meets Sayra when they both stow away on a train headed north. During their journey, Casper has to decide whether to maintain his total allegiance to his gang or to take a different path. From there, the film follows Sayra and Casper as they continue their journey north trying to make it to the U.S. When the two reach the border, things take a turn — you’ll have to watch the film to see how it ends.

4. Mi Familia (My Family)

My Family” offers a more extensive look at the immigration narrative, covering multiple generations. Viewers first meet Jose and Maria, who migrate to the U.S. and settle in East L.A., where they start their family. As the film progresses, Jose and Maria’s children come of age and have children of their own. We see how an immigrant family can set down roots, grow and become part of the “American Dream.”

5. The Perez Family

“The Perez Family,” a 1995 comedy, follows Dorita and Juan, two Cubans who find themselves in Miami after a boat lift and discover that they have the same last name: Perez. They decide to pretend they’re husband and wife to make their entrance easier — but Juan already has a wife who he hasn’t seen in 20 years. On their journey, they “adopt” a young boy as their son and take in an elderly man as his father. Before you know it, comical romantic entanglement ensues, and the protagonists are forced to decide what their future will look like.

6. Desierto

“Desierto,” starring Gael García Bernal, is a 2015 film that depicts what can only be explained as a nightmare. García Bernal’s character, Moises, is part of a group of immigrants who journey through the desert in an attempt to make it to the U.S. During their trek, the group splits into two, with one group far ahead of Moises’ group. What the immigrants don’t know is that Sam, a gun-toting man driving his truck along the border, is about to hunt them. It isn’t long until Sam spots the immigrants and begins to open fire, forcing them to scatter and try to wait him out in an attempt to survive a terrifying and life-threatening ordeal.

7. Entre Nos

“Entre Nos,” released in 2009, is the true story of a woman who makes the journey from Colombia with her children to Queens, New York to be reunited with her husband. When she arrives in the U.S., her husband abandons the family and leaves them to fend for themselves. The family is left digging through garbage and doing whatever it takes to get by. The movie gives audiences a heartbreaking look at the immigrant experience through the eyes of a single mother with two children.

READ: Damn. This Short Film Will Make You Think Twice About Denying Refugees Safety

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A Fan Asked Eva Mendes Why She Hasn’t Acted In Years And She Says It’s Because She Isn’t Settling For Any Role

Entertainment

A Fan Asked Eva Mendes Why She Hasn’t Acted In Years And She Says It’s Because She Isn’t Settling For Any Role

evamendes / Instagram

This year’s Golden Globes awards were a complete letdown for a variety of reasons. Aside from the typical #SoWhite nonsense and long speeches, people were astonished at the lack of Latinas on the red carpet. We counted four: Jennifer Lopez, Ana de Armas, Sofia Vergara, and Salma Hayek. Depressing right? We know there are more Latinas in Hollywood, but where are they? At least one of the most recognized Latina actresses is explaining why she hasn’t acted in years. 

A fan recently asked Eva Mendes on Instagram when she’ll be in a new movie. Mendes responded by saying she won’t settle for any project partly because of her daughters. 

Credit: evamendes / Instagram

On Jan. 7, Mendes responded to a fan on Instagram when she asked her,  “When the fans going to see u in some new movies?” Mendes told her kindly that she isn’t offered roles that are good enough for her. 

“Hi! When there’s something worthwhile to be a part of,” she wrote on Instagram. “As a mother now, there are many roles I won’t do. There are many subject matters that I don’t want to be involved with, so it limits my choices, and I’m fine with that. I have to set an example for my girls now. But no worry, I got some side hustles. Ha! Thanks for asking. All the best for 2020.”

Mendes’s most recent role was the 2014 film Lost River directed and written by her baby daddy, Ryan Gosling. Things certainly changed for Mendes when she met Gosling in 2011.

The two first met while filming the 2012 movie, “The Place Beyond the Pines.” There was no denying the chemistry between the two in “The Place Beyond the Pines.” It was an extraordinary film about a Luke (Gosling) who doubles as a bank robber and motorcyclist. He meets Romina (Mendes), the two fall in love, and have a baby. Domestic life isn’t for Luke, and he cannot escape his crime-ridden life. We won’t give any spoilers, but it truly felt like we were witnessing a real-life love story.

Mendes is now the mother of two girls and has gone on to launch her fashion collection with New York & Company and has been busy with that for several years now.

Credit: evamendes / Instagram

While Mendes continues to lead a pretty private life with Gosling and her daughters, her fashion collection has been successful. She has also said that her partner has been very encouraging and proud of her work as a designer. 

“Ryan is incredibly supportive, and he’s always in awe,” Mendes told People magazine last year. “He makes me realize that [making the collection] is actually a lot of work. I have so much fun doing it that I don’t really realize.”

She also added that her in-laws and her family are extremely helpful to her as she develops each collection. 

“Ryan’s mom, Ryan’s sister, my mom, my sisters, my grandma are all my fashion guinea pigs,” Mendes told the magazine. “Nobody is going to be more honest than family, and our family is very honest. It’s something I really appreciate because when designing something, you need real feedback.”

Yet, still, with her success as a fashion designer, we cannot help miss Mendes as an actor. Remember her in “Training Day”?

Her role as Sara opposite Denzel Washington was so intense and incredibly raw. We can see why she would hesitate to be in certain kinds of characters, especially if the part calls for nudity or vulgar language. The role of Sara is also one that we have seen often, which is the stereotypical Latina as a single mother, living in the projects. That has been played out. That movie, however, was how we first learned of Mendes. 

She stretched her comedy chops in “The Other Guys” in 2010 alongside Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell. 

That movie was hilarious, and she was amusing as the wife of Will Ferrell. Then again, that role was of a sexy (but smart) Latina who could whip of a home-cooked meal and be stunning all at the same time. Mendes can play the ultimate woman because she is a lot of ways. However, we understand she wants to break away from that notion that all Latinas are curvy, sexy, and feisty. 

Her Instagram is always active, so it makes us feel like Mendes hasn’t gone anywhere.

Credit: evamendes / Instagram

But we still miss you on the big screen, Eva. Come back!!

READ: Here Are 9 Latinos Who Have Become Triple Threats In The Entertainment Industry

Guatemala’s President Is Going To Have To Settle The Immigration Negotiation With Trump

Things That Matter

Guatemala’s President Is Going To Have To Settle The Immigration Negotiation With Trump

dr.giammattei / Instagram

Tuesday marked a new era of leadership in Guatemala as the Latin country swore in Alejandro Giammattei, a conservative doctor and former prison system director from the right-wing Vamos party. The 63-year-old won the presidency on his fourth attempt back in August with bold promises of changing a corrupt government and restoring the rule-of-law in city streets. 

“Today, we are putting a full stop on corrupt practices so they disappear from the face of this country,” Giammattei said at his swearing-in ceremony that had a five-hour delay.

His ceremony somewhat overshadowed by delays and protests against ex-President Jimmy Morales, who for four years dodged accusations of corruption. The scene of protestors throwing eggs and voicing anger at the outgoing administration was a reminder of the displeasure against the country’s deep-seated political corruption. It’s also a key reason why many are looking to Giammattei to bring change to the struggling country. 

As Giammattei takes office, there are questions on what his presidency will mean to Guatemala in the short and long term as issues over the future of an asylum deal with the United States comes into focus. 

One of the biggest issues confronting Guatemala and one that Giammattei will have to address early is the Asylum Cooperation Agreement (ACA) that was signed by Morales last July with the U.S. government. The agreement, which was highly opposed in Guatemala, lets U.S. immigration officials send Honduran and Salvadoran migrants that are requesting asylum at the U.S.-Mexican border to apply for protection here instead. There is now increasing skepticism as reports say that the U.S. wants to expand the deal to include Mexican asylum seekers as well.

Last year, there were many Guatemalans that were part of a 3,000 migrant caravan that made its way up from Latin America to the U.S. The caravan consisted of people that were looking to claim asylum and became a symbol of the growing migration crisis at the southern border. President Trump frequently attacked the caravan and eventually threatened to impose tariffs on Guatemala if it didn’t agree to the asylum deal.

According to the Guatemalan Migration Institute, “as of Friday, 128 Salvadoran and Honduran asylum seekers had been sent as part of the agreement,” with only a limited number actually applying for asylum there and others returning home. Giammattei has previously said that he’s willing to make changes to the agreement but on Tuesday said he would revisit details later. 

The country, one of Latin America’s poorest nations, is a key part of President Trump’s plan to curb illegal immigration and asylum claims. mostly from those coming to the U.S. Southern border. The issue for many living in Guatemala is how to let those seeking asylum when itself has become a major source of U.S. bound migrants. 

Poverty levels have only grown in the last 20 years and income inequality levels continue to be a big problem in the country. 

One of the big platform issues that Giammattei ran his campaign on was helping the shorten income inequality gap and poverty levels that have only grown in the last 20 years. Fifty-nine percent of Guatemalan citizens live below the poverty line and almost 1 million children under the age of 5 are believed to live with chronic malnutrition, according to the AP. 

There is also the rampant problem of street violence and cartel gangs that have had a major effect on the daily lives of many in the country. Giammattei plans to address this with reforms that include designating “street gangs as terrorist groups.”

“This is the moment to rescue Guatemala from the absurd. It is the moment to combat corruption and malnutrition,” Giammattei said on Tuesday in his first address to the country as president. “There is no peace without security, I will present a law that aims to declare street gangs for what they are – terrorist groups.”

There is hope that Giammattei will turn a new page in Guatemala that will see change come to all in the country that has faced uncertainty for years. But only time will tell if this is indeed new leadership or business as usual.

“We will bring back the peace this country so dearly needs,” Giammattei said. “We will govern with decency, with honourability, and with ethical values.”

READ: In Efforts To Double Latino Representation In Hollywood, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti Unveils New Historic Initiative